“I don’t want to belittle the importance of that period,” says filmmaker Bridgett Davis, pointing to the Blaxploitation films of the early 70s as both a blessing and a curse. “But I feel that we needed that. It was exciting to see black women who were not mammies, not prostitutes, not drug addicts.”
Davis’s new film, Naked Acts, follows the story of Cece, a 27-year-old aspiring actress who struggles to accept her curvaceous body, and her sexpot mother, who was a Blaxploitation star 20 years ago. The story intensifies when Cece takes a role that requires her to do a nude scene, something she always resented her mother for doing.
“Cece is not exactly Pam Grier with a size 40 chest and wielding a gun. She’s not exactly Dorothy Dandridge, who smolders but is covered. But she’s a product of all of that. She’s human. . . . The character is fictitious, but her emotional experience is totally true. It’s what I’ve experienced, what people close to me have experienced, and what I think a lot of women go through.”
As part of the Black Harvest Festival, Naked Acts will be shown at 8 PM Saturday at the Film Center, Columbus and Jackson. Davis and the lead actress, Jake-ann Jones, will be present. Admission is $5. At 2 PM Davis will participate in a panel discussion titled “The Future of Black Filmmaking” on the 13th floor of 112 S. Michigan; it’s free. Call 443-3737 for more.